On the Road This Winter/Spring

Kopfsteinpflaster in Mestlin-Ruest

I hope to see some of you on the road in the next few months:

January 16, 2019: BELIEVE ME BOOK TOUR
University Colloquium, Eastern Mennonite University, 4:00pm
“The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump” 

February 3, 2019
Cumberland County Historical Society, Greenwich, NJ
Lecture: “The Greenwich Tea Burning in History and Memory

February 5, 2019
North Greenville, University, Greenville, SC
Boggs Hickson Endowed Lecture: “Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?

February 11, 2019: BELIEVE ME BOOK TOUR
University of Colorado-Colorado Springs 
The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump”

February 15, 2019
CCCU Annual Conference for Chief Academic Officers, St. Petersburg, Fla 
“Christian Education in the Age of Trump: Challenges and Opportunities” (Invitation Only)

February 19, 2019: BELIEVE ME BOOK TOUR
Inaugural Crossley Lecture, Department of Religion, University of Southern California
“The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump”

February 26, 2019
Lecture:  Georgetown Day School, Washington D.C. 
“Donald Trump and the Christian Right in America” (Private event)

March 18, 2019: BELIEVE ME BOOK TOUR
Whitworth University, Spokane, Washington
Lecture: “The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump”

March 21, 2019: BELIEVE ME BOOK TOUR
Ward Lecture, Greensboro College, Greensboro, NC
“The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump”

April 8, 2019: BELIEVE ME BOOK TOUR
Boisi Center Event at Gordon-Conwell Seminary. Hamilton, Massachusetts
“Evangelicals and Politics” (panel discussion with Randall Balmer and Dennis Hollinger)

Spectrum Culture Picks *Believe Me* as a Favorite Book of 2018

Believe Me 3dMore good news related to Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.  Here is a taste from Justin Cober-Lake’s endorsement at Spectrum Culture:

When I first read historian John Fea’s Believe Me, I thought he made a smart case. After interviewing him, I saw more of his concern for his community (understood as you like, as it expands outward). As 2018 rolled on, ideas from the book kept coming to mind; a week rarely passed in which I didn’t connect something in the news to Fea’s work. While it seems to be an unlikely proposition, a historical work on the motives on one slice of the voting population has turned out to be an essential read for understanding contemporary US culture.

While the country faces its vitriolic political divides, the American church faces its own internal fights, and the political and religious battles are not unrelated. Fea puts the current evangelical crisis into an accessible historical framework, leading him to a few key discoveries about why white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump. To quickly state some of the findings – largely the importance fear and nostalgia played in the election – misses the force of his work as well as his desire to think through what comes next. Fea’s scope and clarity provide immediate insight for own time, but they also serve as a personal encouragement for a more thoughtful approach to our religious and political era. Those thoughts may be targeted to a certain demographic, but they serve a much wider audience.

*Believe Me* Lands on More “Best Of 2018” Lists

Believe Me 3dOver at First Things John Wilson, bibliophile extraordinaire and former founding editor of the now defunct Books & Culture, lists his “Favorite Books of 2018.” Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump did not make the list.  Or did it?

Here is a taste:

If you’ve followed this list in the past, you know that I huff and puff a bit about its ritual nature. I enter a trance-like state (suburban surrealism!), and book covers begin to swim about in my head, incongruously paired, as beautiful as the canonical chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table. (Consider for instance the first three titles in the list below.) In this reverie—sometimes with snapshots of pages flickering—I jot down titles on the back of an envelope without attempting any sort of “balance” with regard to subject matter or any other criteria. Today’s list would differ at least a bit from a list composed two weeks ago or two weeks hence.

Many books I’ve enjoyed this year are missing, not to mention those that might very well have been included but which I haven’t yet had a chance to read: Uwe Johnson’s Anniversaries, for instance, and Christopher Miller’s study of literary impostors. Many important books are missing; John Fea’s Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump is the most salient example. While I dissent from John’s argument in some respects, I am grateful for his clear, uncompromising witness against the “court evangelicals” toadying to Trump, a witness not restricted to the book itself but amplified in settings all around the U.S. during a months-long book tour.

Read John’s entire list here.

We also made the list of neuropsychologist Jason Kanz!

*Believe Me* Makes a Few “Best Books of the Year” Lists

Believe Me 3dGreat news.  Historian, public intellectual, and writer Amy Bass has chosen Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump as one of her favorite books of the year written by friends!  See her list here.  Thanks Amy!

Listen to Amy talk about her recent book One Goal: A Coach, a Team, and the Game Brought a Divided Town Together on Episode 33 of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast.

Meanwhile, over at The Gospel Coalition, Jared C. Wilson of Midwestern Seminary has picked Believe Me as one of his “top books of 2018.”  Thanks, Jared!

Evangelical Gaslighting

Dallas First

This summer I visited twelve independent bookstores to speak about my book Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.  These were public talks sponsored by the stores.  I had no idea what kind of people would show-up.  I expected verbal sparring at nearly every stop. I girded my loins (to use a biblical phrase) and prepared each night to face Trump voters who I expected to respond to my book with angry dissent.  I tried to anticipate every pro-Trump talking point and prepared myself to answer to each one of them.

Things did not go as I expected.  I ran into a few rabid Trump supporters.  I also ran into many sober-minded, even thoughtful, Trump voters.  And, as you might expect at a book talk at an independent bookstore, I met a lot of folks who occupied a political space that is left of center.

But each night I also met people–sometimes many people–like Elizabeth Baker of Katy, Texas.  Here is what Baker had to say recently in a piece she wrote for the Huffington Post:

I don’t sleep through the night anymore. I suffer from near daily panic attacks and almost constant anxiety. The source of my joy, my security and my identity has vanished, leaving me with an angry grief that almost no one in my immediate circle understands. I have relationships that were once life-giving but have turned toxic. I feel manipulated, deceived and abused. And why?

The church that raised me is gaslighting me.

I am a 39-year-old, white, straight, suburban mom. And I am a Christian ― at least I think I still am. I grew up in a privileged bubble, in deep red Republican country, where identifying as a Christian didn’t set me apart from the majority of my peers. Being a Christian certainly wasn’t any risk to my life or reputation. I spent my childhood in Sunday school, church camp and youth group, learning Bible stories about heroes who battled a giant with a slingshot, survived a lions’ den due to unshakable faith, and led an entire group of people out of slavery and into a promised land.

The church also taught me the story of Jesus, the son of God, whom God sent to earth as a defenseless human infant. Jesus spent 33 completely sinless years on this planet, only to be brutally murdered as a sacrifice for me, because of me. I was born with my sinful nature and no matter how good I try to be, how many prayers I pray or Bible study gatherings I attend, I am ultimately a sinner ― and the wages of sin is death. According to the church, I deserve death, simply for existing.

But the church also claims there’s good news! Even though I deserve death, Jesus’ bloody crucifixion and subsequent bodily resurrection saves me from a fiery eternal hell ― all because I believe this supernatural story and earnestly accept the gift of his grace. And because of this sacrifice, I owe him a lifetime of gratitude, worship and a commitment to follow his commandments (even though, because of my human flesh, I will always ultimately fail him).

Night after night men and women like Baker waited in line for me to sign their books and tell me their stories.  One young man thanked me for writing the book and then said that he felt more at home spiritually in the bookstore that night than he usually does at his own evangelical church.  His eyes were filled with tears as he told me about the like-minded people he met in the audience and how freeing it was to talk to them.  It was clear that many of these folks had a lot to get off their chests about evangelicalism and they saw me as a sympathetic ear.  Sometimes I tried to offer encouragement, other times I joined them in their lament, sometimes I prayed with them, but most of the time I just listened.  (And if you know me, listening is not always one of my strong suits.  I’m working on it, though!).

I did not expect this.

As I read Baker’s piece, I thought again about all the people I met this summer.  Here is another taste:

It simply does not matter to the evangelical church that Trump is racist and that his dehumanizing rhetoric is emboldening radicals and costing Americans their lives. Americans are dying in mass shootings at the hands of white supremacists, while the church is celebrating the nation’s return to traditional values. For Christians who reject the MAGA mindset, this is absolute crazy making.

No wonder I live with crippling anxiety and spiritual trauma. The church that warned me against moral relativism now calls me a heretic when I apply the very principles they taught me to real situations, with real stakes for real people. I don’t know where to turn or whom to trust. Is any of it true? Have I wasted my life on a religion that hurts more than it helps?

I stopped attending church regularly almost two years ago, but I am more invested in my spiritual life than ever before. Although I’ve lost the majority of my local Christian community, save for a few precious friends, I still cling to the true teachings and example of Jesus to inform my politics and moral code. I now understand that Scripture pays more attention to serving the needs of the oppressed than to regulating their lifestyle. Sin is not as much about my behavior as it is about my inability to love people well.

Meanwhile, I’ve diversified my bookshelf, podcast subscriptions and Twitter feed to include voices speaking truth to power from the perspective of marginalized people ― the same voices that the Trump administration continually tries to silence. I’ve joined online communities of people also working through spiritual trauma and gaslighting by the evangelical church. This fall, I attended the Evolving Faith conference, a gathering of more than 1,500 people in different stages of the deconstructing of their faith. As I’ve worked through my grief and anger, I’ve discovered I am not as isolated as I once believed. My hope is to someday find a local church again, one that is progressive, open and affirming, but I am not actively searching.

I wish the evangelical church would wake up and realize how many of us there are out there feeling manipulated and abused. This community of wanderers is dealing with grief both privately and collectively. Together we weep, we rage and we try to rebuild what’s left of our shattered spiritual lives. Healing is slow and it’s painful. I’m working hard to separate the true, worthy parts of Christianity from the bullshit. I do hope to return to church someday, but I will never again be gaslighted by an institution that sells out Jesus for political power.

Read Baker’s entire piece here.  There are a lot of folks out there who will recognize her spiritual struggles because they are also their struggles.  Perhaps Trump really is changing the course of American Christianity

A Suggestion for that Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) Purchase

Believe Me 3dYou just returned from Thanksgiving dinner with your family.  Members of your family are Trump supporters and evangelical Christians.  Political debates took place over turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.  You held firm to your anti-Trump convictions, but you struggled to persuade many of your pro-Trump family members.

You are already thinking about the upcoming December holidays.  How will you be able to convince your evangelical family members (civilly, of course) that hitching their wagons to Trump is a bad idea?

Perhaps this resource might help.  You have about a month to read it before Christmas.  🙂 (It also makes a great Christmas gift!).

The Third Leg of the *Believe Me* Book Tour Kicks-Off in January

Believe Me 3dThanks to all the institutions that hosted us this Fall on the second leg of the Believe Me book tour: University of Chicago Seminary Co-Op Bookstore, Valparaiso University, Cornerstone University, Taylor University, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Hope College, the National Association of Evangelicals, Southern Methodist University, John Brown University, Emmanuel United Methodist Church (Laurel, MD), and the Woodrow Wilson School and Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University.

In Spring 2019 we will be making the following stops:

January 16: Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA

February 11: University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

February 15: Annual Conference of Chief Academic Officers, Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, St. Petersburg, FL (Not open to the public)

February 19: Inaugural Crossley Lecture, Department of Religion, University of Southern California

February 26:  Georgetown Day School, Washington, D.C.  (Not open to the public)

March 18: Whitworth University, Spokane, WA

March 21: Ward Lecture: Greensboro College, Greensboro, NC

April 8: Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, Hamilton, MA

See you on the road.

Trump’s Failure to Honor WW I Soldiers in France Was Yet Another Sign of His Narcissism

100th anniversary commemoration of the Armistice, in Paris

Here is Fred Kaplan at Slate:

The most disturbing thing about President Trump’s disgraceful performance in France this past weekend is the clear signal it sent that, under his thumb, the United States has left the West.

He came to the continent to join with other world leaders to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. But the significance of the armistice is not so much to commemorate the fallen in an absurd and ghastly war as it is to celebrate the special peace—grounded in a democratic European Union and a trans-Atlantic alliance—that grew in its wake and the greater war that followed.

And yet, after flying nearly 4,000 miles across the Atlantic, Trump stayed in his room in Paris on Saturday rather than making the additional 50-mile trip to the Aisne-Marne cemetery, where 50,000 American soldiers were laid to rest a century ago. His excuse for not attending was lame, to say the least. His aides said, after the fact, that rainfall precluded a trip by helicopter—a claim refuted by the writer James Fallows, an instrument-certified pilot who, as a former White House official, is familiar with this helicopter.

Read the rest here.

By not showing up to honor these soldiers, Trump once again showed us his narcissism.  He cannot see himself as part of a larger story of American sacrifice.  Here is what I wrote in Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump:

But the problem with Donald Trump’s use of American history goes well beyond his desire to make America great again or his regular references to some of the darker moments in our past–moments that have tended to divide Americans rather than uniting them.  His approach to history also reveals his narcissism.  When Trump says that he doesn’t care how “America first” was used in the 1940s, or claims to be ignorant of Nixon’s use of “law and order,” he shows his inability to understand himself as part of a larger American story.  As Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson wrote in the wake of Trump’s pre-inauguration Twitter attack on civil rights icon John Lewis, a veteran of non-violent marches who was severely beaten at Selma: “Trump seems to have no feel for, no interest in, the American story he is about to enter.”  Gerson describes Trump’s behavior in this regard as the “essence of narcissism.”  The columnist is right:  Trump is incapable of seeing himself as part of a presidential history that is larger than himself.  Not all presidents have been perfect, and others have certainly shown narcissistic tendencies; but most of them have been humbled by the office.  Our best presidents thought about their four or eight years in power with historical continuity in mind.  This required them to respect the integrity of the office and the unofficial moral qualifications that come with it.  Trump, however, spits in the face of this kind of historical continuity….

Believe Me 3d

The *Believe Me* Book Tour Comes to Princeton University

WIlson View

The view from my “Visitors” office at the Wilson School

I spent the lunch hour today at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affair at Princeton University.   The Wilson School, in conjunction with the Princeton Center for the Study of Religion, hosted me for a book discussion on Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.  We had a nice turnout of graduate students and faculty from both the Department of Religion and the Wilson School.  Thanks to Jenny Wiley Legath for hosting me and providing me with a great parking spot in front of Robertson Hall! 🙂

Wilson School

Look Mom and Dad, I have an office at Princeton!  🙂

Taking Care of Business

OnTheRoad

7:45am:  Voted at my local polling place

12:00pm:  At Princeton University for an event on Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump co-sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Center and the Center for the Study of Religion.

2:15pm:  On Canadian television  (CBC News Network) to talk evangelicals and the election.

7:00pm: In Scranton, Pennsylvania area to watch the Mechanicsburg Area High School girls soccer team compete in the first round of the state tournament vs. Dallas High School.

9:00-12:00pm:  On call with Canadian Broadcast Corporation radio coverage of the 2018 midterms.

Long day.

Interview with VOX on Trump and Evangelicals

Believe Me 3dTara Isabella Burton recently interviewed me about Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.  Here is a taste of the interview at VOX:

Why do white evangelicals still support Trump in such strong numbers? And what will that mean for the upcoming midterms? I spoke to John Fea, a historian of American religion at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and author of Believe Me: the Evangelical Road to Donald Trump, about how Trump has galvanized his Christian base and about the “court evangelicals” who have traded their traditional moral ethos for access to one of the most powerful men in the world.

Tara Isabella Burton

In your book, you make the case that the tendency toward “fear” in white evangelical culture — fear of the immigrant, fear of secularization, fear of modernization — is not just a contemporary phenomenon. Can you talk a little bit about the rhetoric of evangelical fear in American history, and particularly how it has played out in terms of racial politics?

John Fea

If you look closely at American evangelical history, you see fear everywhere. During the early 19th century, white evangelicals in the South constructed a “way of life” built around slavery and white supremacy. When Northern abolitionists (many of whom were also evangelicals, I might add) threatened this way of life by calling for the end of slavery, white evangelicals in the South responded by turning to the Bible and constructing a theological and biblical defense of slavery and racism. After the Civil War, the fear of integrating blacks into white society led to Jim Crow laws and desegregation.

Meanwhile, in the North, many white evangelicals feared the influx of Irish immigrants, especially in the 1850s. These immigrants not only had different religious beliefs (Catholicism), but they were viewed by many as members of a different, inferior race. The same could be said of white evangelical responses to Italian immigrants and Jews at the turn of the 20th century.

In the 1960s and 1970s, as historian Randall Balmer has shown, white evangelicals in the South felt anxious about Supreme Court decisions forcing them to desegregate their K-12 academies and colleges. They claimed that “big government” was intruding on their way of life and their right (based on their reading of the Bible) to segregate. Many of the arguments they made sound a lot like the arguments made by the Confederates against the “Northern invasion” during the American Civil War.

With such a long history, it should not surprise us that so many white evangelicals believed Donald Trump’s accusations that Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president, was not born in this country or was a secret Muslim. A 2015 CNN poll found that 43 percent of Republicans, a political party dominated by white evangelicals, believed that Obama was a Muslim. This, of course, is not true. It can only be explained by racial and religious fear.

Read the entire interview here.

Fear Not

I John 4:7-21:

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

13By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannota love God whom he has not seen. 21And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Despite these biblical calls not to dwell in fear, it seems like evangelicals have embraced what Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell describes as the Republican Party’s “closing argument” in the 2018 midtern election: “Be afraid, be very afraid.”

Here is a taste of her piece:

Immigrants are coming for your children and lake houses. Socialists are coming for your Medicare (huh?). Black football players are coming for your flag. And now the Democrats are coming for your 401(k).

Republicans’ closing argument: Be afraid, be very afraid.

The GOP has had unified control of government for nearly two years now. Yet, somehow, Republicans’ promised return to morning in America, that end of “American carnage,” still hasn’t arrived, according to both their own standard-bearer and their terrifying campaign ads.

It’s funny, in a way. Unemployment is historically low. Consumer confidence is buoyant. There actually is a compelling, positive story to tell about the state of the country — or at least, the state of the economy — today. Whether President Trump can legitimately claim credit for recent economic trends is a nonissue; we know he has no problem taking credit for things he inherited, including his personal wealth. So at the very least, he could be emphasizing those economic milestones.

Read the rest here.

Of course “fear” among evangelicals is a central theme in this book:

Believe Me 3d

 

Rhys Bezzant Reviews *Believe Me*

Believe Me 3dRhys Bezzant is a Jonathan Edwards scholar and Dean of Missional Leadership at Ridley College in Australia.  He recently reviewed Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump at the Patheos blog Evangelion.  Here is a taste:

With pert prose and a full mind, John Fea introduces us to the present political situation in the US, but does so in terms of its recapitulation of themes from American history generally, and American Christian history in particular. This is a fantastic book which draws out the themes of fear, power and nostalgia which are in evidence in Trump’s rhetoric and ascendancy, but which have also haunted the US since its founding. Of course fear will be present when the Puritan errand established such lofty ideals that falling away from them would be almost inevitable. Of course power has insinuated its poison into the cultural and religious life of a nation which has also been an Empire. Of course nostalgia towards an imagined past was always going to be an emotional pull since the world became more complicated and fractured after the end of the Cold War. Together they make for a potent mix in a socially and politically volatile period. With contemporary attempts to create a narrative for America as a Christian nation, with the founders during the revolutionary period the chief architects, Trump is surfing other currents in the nation’s life with skill.

Read the rest here.

*Believe Me* at the Evangelical Theological Society

ETS-Logo

I have never been to the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society  before.  It is not my professional crowd.  But when a few members asked if they could put together a session on Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump, I agreed to participate.  See you in Denver on November 13, 2018.  I have never been part of a 3 hour and 10 minute conference session before, so this should be interesting.  I am sure I will have much to support.

9:00 AM-12:10 PM

American Christianity

A Review Session of Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump by John Fea

Tower Building–Mezzanine Level Silver

Moderator: Miles S. Mullin II (Hannibal-LaGrange University)

9:00-9:15AM

Miles S. Mullin II (Hannibal-LaGrange University)

Introduction of the book and the presenters

9:15-9:45 AM

Justin Taylor (Crossway Books)

9:50-10:20 AM

Gary Steward (Colorado Christian College)

10:25-10:55AM

Jemar Tisby (University of Mississippi)

11:00-11:25AM

John Fea (Messiah College)

11:25AM-12:10PM

Panel and Audience Discussion

My Favorite Negative Review of *Believe Me* (So Far)

Believe Me 3dHere is U. Han Hummus at Amazon:

I had to select a star and could not choose a negative one, ergo the one star. Very partisan claptrap. Author manifests his bromance with Obama and Danté’s inferno level of enmity for Trump from chapter one. This book was used in a study group at a local church. I was struggling to decide whether or not to remain in the Democrat party. This book irresistibly beconed me to leave because of its hypocrisy. Do not buy this book. Give me your address; I will send it to you for free with $10.00.

Thanks!

Harvard Divinity School Podcast: Trump and Evangelicals

beyond beliefListen to this episode of the Beyond Belief podcast here.  Host Jonathan Beasley interviews Dudley Rose, Professor of Ministry Studies at Harvard Divinity School. Here is a taste of the transcript:

Jonathan Beasley: So, Professor Rose. We’ve heard and read about how Evangelical Christians feel as if they are being left behind or perhaps looked down on as a kind of besieged minority. Trump really has stood up for these people and he’s told them, effectively, that he’s here to protect them, and he’s here to protect those values. Could you talk more about this? And is one of the main reasons that white evangelicals support Trump out of fear of perhaps losing that way of life or those values that they hold so dear?

Dudley Rose: That’s a fascinating question, I think, Jonathan. If you think about it, the doctrines, like the right of discovery, Manifest Destiny, a new promised land, sound pretty aggressive to our ears today, right? We’ve become more sensitive to the language of racism and sexism, for example, and the rights of the powerless and the oppressed—at least at a lip-service level we have. And one genius of Christian nationalism espoused by many white Evangelical Christians is a real sleight of hand: They claim that they are victims of the progressive left and that they are the oppressed party. It’s genius. People of enormous privilege and political power turn the argument on its head and claim protections designed to safeguard people without privilege and power.

It has skewed debates on issues such as religious freedom, for example. Religious freedom was a concept devised to protect the freedom of religious expression of people in minority religious traditions and movements. But some evangelical Christians have argued, with some success, that their religious freedom is compromised by those who have different beliefs from them—for example, that marriage can be between two people of the same gender who love each other.

This has nothing to do with an evangelical Christian’s freedom to practice their religious tradition; it has to do with the desire to prevent someone else from practicing theirs. So, the real issue at play with Christian nationalists is the belief that they should have dominant control of the culture, and for them, not having that dominant control feels like oppression.

The podcast ends with a quote from my June 2018 piece at The Atlantic:

Writing in the Atlantic Monthly, John Fea, a professor at Messiah College and self-described evangelical, wrote the following:

“Evangelicals are people of hope, not fear. The practice of Christian hope points us to a life beyond this world, but it also requires us to act in such a way that models God’s coming kingdom. The Kingdom of God is characterized by the love of enemies, the welcoming of strangers, the belief in the human dignity of all people, a humble and self-sacrificial posture toward public life, and a trust in the sovereign God of the universe. Fear is a natural human response to social change, but evangelicals betray their deepest spiritual convictions when they choose to dwell in it.”

Read the entire transcript here.